Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: July 2008

31 July 2008

On the Ousting of Israel's Olmert ...

Today we want to start with some good old fashioned community singing. You know, some choral stuff and such.


All together then:

"Singin' soooooo long, it's been good t'know ya ..."


Olmert finally bows to pressure - by Wyre Davies - BBC News, Jerusalem

And here's how Israel's very own
Haaretz sees and says it.

As for ourselves, we wish we could say "It's been nice..."

However, it hasn't, so we won't.

We wonder who's next?

Since surely, by now, Israeli politics is fast running short of shysters and schmucks.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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30 July 2008

Simply Some Self Indulgence ...

We're well aware that there are those who think we're just some old bums who do bugger all else in life but blog.

So .........

... as it says on the tin and/or in the title at the top ... some simple straightforward self indulgence.

Impress(ion)ed ?

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29 July 2008

Iran Joins With Turkey in Military Strikes Against Kurdish 'PKK' Terrorists in Iraq

Regular readers may recall us writing earlier this month re:the recent bloody bombing in Istanbul.

Though nobody officialy claimed responsibility, we said we strongly suspected the murderous mob of Kurdish terrorists calling themselves the P.K.K. (Some said terrorists shown below.)

Now it seems the Turkish government agrees with us and has decided, once again, to try to do something about the barbaric buggers.

But surprise, surprise - the Iranian government also agrees.

And super-surprise, super-surprise - they decided to join the Turks to try to do something about it too.

Apparently, not for the first time.

Firat News, a pro-Kurdish news agency, said the bombing was immediately followed by shelling by Iranian forces.

Turkey's military has said Turkey and Iran at times coordinate strikes against Kurdish rebels who use bases in northern Iraq as a springboard for attacks on their countries.
Interesting, eh?

Read the rest of the relevant (and remarkably revealing) report right here.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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Always Look On The Bright Side

Bush's Iraq adventure has killed more than 4,000 American and British soldiers, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. It has displaced millions, and left the Iraqi economy and Iraqi society in a shambles. It will wind up costing the American economy more than $1 trillion in direct cost, opportunity cost, interest on debt, and long term costs like treatment for wounded soldiers.

But in honor of Bush's
half-glass-full spirit, I think we should look on the bright side: medical researchers are discovering a lot about prosthetic limbs, traumatic brain injuries, and post traumatic stress disorder. The latest discovery is that PTSD physically scars the brain:

At a recent conference for some of the area's leading neurologists, San Francisco physicist Norbert Schuff captured his colleagues' attention when he presented colorful brain images of U.S. soldiers who had returned from Iraq and Afghanistan and were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The yellow areas, Schuff explained during his presentation at the city's Veterans Affairs Medical Center, showed where the hippocampus, which plays major roles in short-term memory and emotions, had atrophied. The red swatches marked hyperfusion - increased blood flow - in the prefrontal cortex, the region responsible for conflict resolution and decision-making. Compared with a soldier without the affliction, the PTSD brain had lost 5 to 10 percent of its gray matter volume, indicating yet more neuron damage.

Schuff's research is at the forefront of a bold push by the Department of Defense to address PTSD, the psychological disorder that will haunt an estimated 30 percent of the veterans returning from the current two wars, according to the Pentagon. Forty thousand veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, Pentagon officials say, have already been diagnosed with PTSD, which is defined as an anxiety disorder triggered by exposure to traumatic events; symptoms can include nightmares, flashbacks and panic attacks.

Left untreated, clinicians say, patients with PTSD are more likely to engage in anti-social behaviors such as alcohol and drug abuse. The disorder, neurologists are now learning, can also lead to long-term maladies, such as Alzheimer's and dementia.
So not every aspect of the Bush presidency has been negative. Just look at what he's doing for neurological science!

(cross posted at Liberal Avenger and appletree)

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27 July 2008

British Soldiers' 'Baha Mousa' Slaying Shame ...

Well, we've been beaten to it today by one of our old Brit brother bloggers, R.J. Adams at 'sparrow chat'.

Beaten to what?

Beaten to this bit of bloody barbarity.

God Bless The ‘Special Relationship’

Few in America will have heard the name, Baha Mousa. That’s a pity, because Baha Mousa was living proof the ’special relationship’ between Britain and the United States is as strong and endurable as ever.

Baha Mousa is no longer ‘living proof’. He’s been dead five years: tortured to death by British troops in Basra, following arrest and detention along with a number of others Iraqis, in September 2003.

Mousa was a hotel receptionist whose only crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Read the rest right here.

Since it seems 'sparrow chat''s already said it all for us - and so succinctly too - we're simply going to put a face to a name:the name of Baha Mousa, deceased.


You should be. Since that's what it looks like when an innocent man's been brutally beaten to death ... by a bunch of (brave?) young British soldiers.

Nice one, boys.


You should be ashamed of yourselves.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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McCain's Drilling Program Runs Into Trouble

Concerns about environmental damage are undermining support for McCain's plans to expand offshore drilling

A recent poll indicated that while a slight majority of Americans want more areas to be opened for oil drilling, around 3/4 of Americans think that we should focus our efforts on investing in new energy technology, rather than on expansion of drilling. Since John McCain has made support for more drilling a centerpiece of his campaign, that result would seem to favor Obama.

Also, most Americans don't think that more drilling will significantly lower gas prices (
they're right), and they think that the Bush/McCain proposals to expand drilling are more likely to enrich oil companies than to lower the price of oil.

As if that wasn't bad enough news for John McCain, some recent events demonstrated the folly of opening up more territory for drilling. First, new information became available that further discredits the global warming skeptics. A highly-touted documentary that purported to debunk global warming was
cited by British media regulators and climate scientists for lacking objectivity and balance. Also, the American Physical Society reiterated its position that global warming is real and primarily man-made, putting to rest the rumor that the APS had reversed itself. Clearly, global warming continues to be a critical problem, one that is exacerbated by choosing more drilling over developing alternative fuel and conservation technologies.

More importantly for the McCain campaign, congress
took up debate on a bill that would force oil companies to use the oil leases they already have, or abandon their rights to drill on that land. The measure would also bar them from selling oil from their offshore drilling operations overseas. McCain and his fellow Republicans oppose the bill, and Bush has threatened to veto it. But if the purpose of granting offshore leases is to reduce the price of gas, shouldn't the Republicans be in favor of this measure? Why wouldn't they want to force oil companies to drill on existing leases and to sell their oil in the United States, unless the real purpose of expanding offshore drilling is to enrich the oil companies?


Luck was on John McCain's side earlier in the week. McCain had planned to try to upstage Obama's gigantic rally in Berlin by speaking in front of reporters on an offshore oil well, but that plan was
doused by Hurricane Dolly. Just imagine how that would have looked: Obama burnishing his foreign policy credentials by wowing our closest allies while McCain speaks of the need to expand offshore drilling... on a day when there was a major oil spill in the gulf of Mexico.

(cross posted at Liberal Avenger and appletree)

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25 July 2008

US Air Force : Missile Men's 'Slumber Surprise' (or is it?)



Hush your mouth. Close your cake-hole. Cut the clap-trap. Button your lip. And ensure you trap stays shut.


In other words, keep this shocking sort of shit under your hat.

Or should we say secrete said excrement somewhere super-safe ... such as under your personal pillow?

Missile crew members fell asleep

"Decisive and urgent steps" are needed to restore the US Air Force's respect for nuclear weapons after three ballistic missile crew members fell asleep while holding classified launch code devices, US authorities said.

The incident at a base in North Dakota, just south of the Canadian border, is the latest in a series of nuclear mistakes which have plagued the US Air Force in recent months.

Read the rest of this report -- so long as you're one the good guys.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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Glasgow By-election : Gordon Brown Beaten ... Again.

Gawd's truth, Gordon. Now wonder you've got a gob on again

Battered, bruised and beaten - again?

By another by-election bombshell? This time by some canny fellow Scots?

For pity's sake Prime Minister, what's it going to take? Can't you see they're screaming for your head on a plate?

The Scottish National Party has pulled off a stunning by-election victory by winning Glasgow East, one of Labour's safest seats, by 365 votes.

The SNP overturned a Labour majority of 13,507 to win with a swing of 22.54%.

The SNP polled 11,277 votes in the contest, while the Tories came third with 1,639 and the Lib Dems, with 915 votes, came fourth.

SNP candidate John Mason said the victory was "off the Richter scale", while Labour expressed disappointment.
Read the rest of this report right here.

Better buck up, and buck up soon sunshine. Or you'll be dead & buried before you know it Premier ... politically speaking.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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Obama Draws 200,000 in Berlin, Wingnuts Pout


Obama's speech in Berlin drew raves from the people of Europe. You can read the transcript here, or watch it for yourself:

Josh Marshall
gives some analysis, but I think the messages of change, unity, and multilateralism speak for themselves.

Of course, not everyone was impressed. While Obama was building bridges across the Atlantic, McCain visited a German restaurant, where he took the opportunity to make a nonsensical point about not traveling abroad during a political campaign:

Maybe the McCain campaign should re-think the strategy of trying to upstage Obama.

The usual cast of crybaby conservatives took the opportunity to claim that the media coverage of Obama's trip proves a liberal bias. Specifically, they point to the fact that when John McCain travels abroad, there weren't any network news anchors who went along for the ride. But as McCain himself pointed out, he didn't travel as part of an election campaign that is driving the news cycle. Also, McCain himself asked decided to travel separately from reporters,
making it difficult for them to cover his trips:

Newsweek’s Holly Bailey recently noted that McCain “chose not to take reporters” on his trip abroad because he “was on official Senate travel” and aides worried about stories “questioning whether he was improperly using his Senate office to benefit his presidential campaign.”

Bailey added, “In contrast, the Obama campaign is inviting reporters on its tour, handling all the logistics — including transportation.” Reporters would have faced “a logistical nightmare…keep[ing] up with McCain as they flew commercially from stop to stop. (McCain traveled by a military aircraft).”
Naturally, the stalwarts of the American conservative movement also took issue with the content of Obama's speech. Victor Davis Hanson, who fancies himself as the National Review's resident history expert, couldn't really find anything to complain about, so he just complained about the Europeans in an attempt to link Obama to them:

They want less, not more, military spending; their extra-constitutional anti-terror laws, spy-cameras, and preventive detentions make the Patriot Act look like Cub Scout bylaws; and their new anti-immigration protocols would earn calls of “fascism” if enacted here at home.
Yes, it would be called fascism here at home, and it would have the full support of Victor Davis Hanson (see his apologia for preventative detention here). Denis Boyles, Hanson's colleague at the National Review, took a similar approach:

The excellent reporting that uncovered a newspaper making a John Kennedy reference justifies the headline, since JFK, of course, is a media saint. This makes Obama, as the JFK of our time, a latter-day saint, which, for Europeans, is probably better than being a Muslim.
Ha ha! Get it? Europeans are so ass-backward that they even like Muslims! And that ass-backwardness is what makes them like Obama! Ha ha!

Except, of course, for Boyles's role models over in Serbia. They don't like Muslims so much. And I guess there's also a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment in the rest of Eastern Europe as well. And in France, where fascists have been winning a lot of votes by pointing out that they hate Muslims almost as much as they hate Jews. And there's been a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment expressed recently in Denmark. And Switzerland. And Holland. And pretty much everywhere in Europe except Bosnia and Turkey.

Actually, it's hard to read Boyles's swipe at Europe and Obama without concluding that Boyles is a dunce.

Not to be outdone, Sean Hannity attacked Obama for his conciliatory tone and for the enthusiastic reception that he got in Europe. Hannity's criticism seemed to center on the fact that Obama
did not make an untrue, completely idiotic comment:

He seems to agree with the European, anti-American sentiment and the belief in the United Nations. But I look at it this way. America’s 4% of the world’s population but we pay 96% of the cost of keeping the entire planet sane and free. And you know what? That’s what I would have said if I went to Europe.
The Axis of Crazy also went after Obama. Crazy Pam decided that anyone who could draw a big crowd in Germany must be just like Hitler. She even featured a bunch of photos of Hitler in front of big crowds to make her point. I think my favorite part of that photo essay is the picture of Obama shaking hands, juxtaposed with the one of Hitler not shaking hands. Crazy Michelle also accused Obama of being a crypto-Nazi.

You would think, from reading these two, that Hitler's crimes consisted of speaking in front of large crowds and building big monuments. They don't like to bring up things like the ethnic cleansing and the persecution of religious minorities, because those are the sorts of things that Pam and Michelle support.


Unfortunately, the last link in the Axis of Crazy (Crazy Debbie) had little to offer on Obama's speech, because she was too busy being crazy:

1) She
criticizes Oprah for touting an author whose latest book features a sexual predator as a character (he's the villain). Note that Oprah never praised the book in question. Crazy Debbie was so desperate to find fault that she vilifies Oprah for praising a different book that the author wrote in the past.

2) She
accused Tom Campbell, a popular California Republican, of being a "pan-Islamist" who is "well known for his support for Islamic terrorists." For good measure, she also took a swipe at California's Jewish Republicans and Republican officials in Ohio and Michigan (not sufficiently intolerant of Muslims), and railed against "pan-Islamist Grover Norquist's puppetmaster machinations at the Bush White House."

Grover Norquist? I guess after expending all that craziness, Debbie just didn't have any left over for Obama.


Schlussel's criticism of Tom Campbell centers around his support for Sami al-Arian. In the process of demonizing Campbell, Schlussel smears al-Arian several times. So it wouldn't be fair to include a link to Schlussel's insanity without also including links to articles that tell the truth about the Bush administration's shameful persecution of him:

Sami Al-Arian: The Terror Verdict TV Networks Ignored

The Persecution of Sami Al-Arian

(cross posted at appletree and Liberal Avenger)


23 July 2008

A New Cold War?


The Russian newspaper Izvestia reported today that Russia may respond to Bush's Eastern European missile defense system by deploying nuclear bombers in Cuba.

The US responded with a
statement by General Norton Schwartz, Air Force chief of staff nominee. Schwartz stated that such a deployment would be "something that crosses a threshold, crosses a red line for the United States of America."

I thought that Andy Young's take on the situation
sounded about right. According to Young, the Russians are probably just posturing for the sake of domestic politics, and we probably won't be seeing a Russian airbase in Cuba. But I disagree with his assertion that the Russians might build an airbase in Venezuela. Unlike a Cuban base, a Venezuelan base couldn't be justified by linking its construction to the missile site. And it's very hard to see how such a base would do anything for the Chavez government, beyond giving the US a pretext for another coup d'etat.

(cross posted at appletree and Liberal Avenger) (via reddit)


Is Britain Becoming "a fortress"? Being Built (by proxy) by Foreigners?

An over the top illustration? We know there are plenty of people who'll say precisely that. That's as may be. Every one's entitled to a personal opinion. Though we do have to wonder for how long.

Thanks to one of our regular readers, 'sweet old lady', we were pointed in the direction of this amazing/alarming article.

We believe that everyone should read it.

We don't doubt for a moment that readers will see this piece from entirely opposite perspectives, and indeed, isn't that exactly the kind of thing we mentioned at the outset? Every one's entitlement to personal opinions? And the freedom to voice said opinions?

Anyway, here's tasty teaser or two to tempt you into reading this article in it's entirety.

"Sensing opportunity as the war on terror grinds on, its neoconservative architects have swooped in from across the Atlantic to establish their presence in Britain. With ties to the arms industry and the neoconservative wing of the Israel lobby, the Henry Jackson Society seems to be assuming the role that the Committee on Present Danger played in the United States. Its Israel-centric worldview, as exhibited by its roster of speakers, predisposes it towards perpetual conflict. The support for a militarized ethnocracy is not the natural inclination of a liberal-democratic Britain; it can only be sustained in a context where Israel can be seen aligned with Britain in an overarching conflict against a common enemy."


"Fear obscures reason, intensifies emotions and makes it easier for demagogic politicians to mobilize the public on behalf of the policies they want to pursue... Such fear-mongering, reinforced by security entrepreneurs, the mass media and the entertainment industry, generates its own momentum."

In Britain each of the New Labour government's political missteps has been accompanied by similar fear-mongering. While a terrorist threat does exist, its magnitude is wildly exaggerated. The European Police Office (Europol) released its first report on terrorism last year which listed 498 terrorist attacks for Europe in 2006; only one was attributed to Muslims. The majority - 136 - were carried out by the Basque separatist group ETA; only one of them deadly. When it came to the arrests on terrorism related charges, however, a good half were Muslims.


From Beirut, an outraged Robert Fisk wrote:

"Stephenson's job is to frighten the British people, not to stop the crimes that are the real reason for the British to be frightened ...I'm all for arresting criminals...But I don't think Paul Stephenson is. I think he huffs and he puffs but I do not think he stands for law and order. He works for the Ministry of Fear which, by its very nature, is not interested in motives or injustice."


On November 18, 1822, the Observer reported that nearly "a million
bushels of human and inhuman bones" had been imported in the previous year from Europe into the port of Hull. Battlefields swept alike of the "bones of the hero and the horse which he rode" delivered their haul to Yorkshire bone grinders who reduced them to granulary state. "In this condition they are sold to the farmers to manure their lands."[8] Two centuries on, the gap between the 'support our troops' rhetoric and reality has yet to be bridged.

An internal report into the state of the British Military obtained by The Independent on May 11 reveals that soldiers are living in such poverty that they can't even afford food, with many living on emergency food voucher schemes set up by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). "Commanders are attempting to tackle the problem through 'Hungry Soldier' schemes, under which destitute soldiers are given loans to enable them to eat" the paper reported
Read the rest of these remarkable writings right here.

Now, opine away. For the floor is all yours.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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American Attorney General Asks for Permanent State of War

Welcome to Bush's America

Attorney General Michael Mukasey has
asked congress to declare war. Not against a sovereign state, but against an organization made up of loosely-affiliated cells. And his purpose in asking for this declaration is to allow the government to detain "enemy combatants", without evidence and without charge, for the duration of the "war". In other words, forever. This is particularly disturbing given the administration's position that the government should be allowed to confer "enemy combatant" status on American citizens.

What Mukasey proposed is nothing less than an indefinite suspension of one of our most important rights: the right to habeas corpus. The right to demand that the government present evidence before detaining a suspect. Specifically, Mukasey is asking Congress to
reverse a recent Supreme Court decision that overturned part of the 2006 Military Commissions Act. The act stripped detainees of the right to appeal decisions made by special military tribunals.

And let's not kid ourselves: Mukasey is not only asking that Bush's kangaroo courts be allowed to operate without review, he's asking that they be allowed to do so for the foreseeable future. If the United States had gone to war against the Nazi Party instead of Germany in World War II, we would still be at war. If we had declared war against the Communist Party back in the 1950s, we would still be at war. If we had declared war against the Ku Klux Klan back in 1865, the South would still be under martial law. Not only is Mukasey asking for an American version of the
Reichstag Fire Decree, he's asking that it be put into effect permanently.

To be blunt, Attorney General Mukasey is asking for the United States to be transformed from a nation in which the government serves only as long as it pleases the people, to a nation in which citizens are allowed to remain free only as long as it pleases the government.


Only seven Democrats (counting Joe Lieberman) voted to confirm Mukasey. Every Republican either voted to confirm, or expressed support for Mukasey's nomination. That shows you which party supports limited government.

The primary issue that cost Mukasey the support of the Democrats was his refusal to say whether or not waterboarding constitutes torture. Given the fact that waterboarding had long been in the news, Mukasey's alleged inability to determine whether or not it is torture should have disqualified him from serving as Attorney General. Of course, he was lying about that, and had planned all along to endorse the practice, and that lie should have disqualified him. And while I expected some of our more cowardly senators (Evan Bayh, Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Tom Carper) to betray their constituents on the Mukasey nomination, I would have hoped that Democrats who didn't have to worry too much about re-election would have had the political courage to stand up to Bush, especially after the Republicans' catastrophic defeat in 2006.

So I'd like to extend a hearty "screw you" Diane Feinstein of California and Chuck Schumer of New York, who voted to confirm as Attorney General a man who clearly has no regard for either the Constitution or for the rule of law.

(cross posted at Liberal Avenger and appletree)

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22 July 2008

Un-bloody-believable : Barmy British Bobbies ...

We've decide we're launching a brand new, occasional, well earned award system:

'This Old Brit's Stupidest Sod(s) in the Solar System Citation'.

Hear you can learn a little about our first winner - a Metropolitan police community support officer.

Photographing thugs 'is assault', police tell householder snapping proof of anti-social behaviour

By Neil Sears - Daily Mail

A householder who took photographs of hooded teenagers as evidence of their anti-social behaviour says he was told he was breaking the law after they called the police.

David Green, 64, and his neighbours had been plagued by the youths from a nearby comprehensive school for months ...
Read the rest of this totally toe-curling, utter tommy-rot.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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Radovan-the rat-Karadzic Captured ...


Hip, hip, hip ...

They've caught the rat!

Read all about it.


This good news has made our day.

Special sweet dreams are headed our way.

G'night, for now.

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20 July 2008

America, Diego Garcia, Britain, Torture, and some slimy Brit poli-turds talking utter tripe ...


Good question, eh?

What a pity most of it's many millions of (allegedly), God fearing, good clean living, so called Christians have yet to come up with any sensible, civilised and/or adequate answers.

No matter. Most of the rest of the world already knows almost all of the honest answers .

So, what about Britain?

Well, here's a taste of some of the silly shit we saw reported today.

UK 'must check' US torture denial

The report calls for an analysis of US interrogation techniques

The British government should not rely on US assurances that it does not use torture, a report by MPs says.

The foreign affairs select committee said the UK and US differ on their definitions of what constitutes torture and it urged the UK to check US claims.

It recommended the government carry out an "exhaustive analysis of current US interrogation techniques."


Given the clear differences in definition, the UK can no longer rely on US assurances that it does not use torture, and we recommend that the government does not rely on such assurances in the future."

The MPs also challenged the government to check more actively that Britain had not been used by the Americans for so called "rendition" flights - when detainees are taken to countries where bans on torture may not apply.

The UK had repeatedly accepted assurances that it had not, but it was discovered earlier this year that two rendition planes refuelled on the ...

... British territory of Diego Garcia in the Indian
Read the rest of the relevant report.

Now, here's another good question.

What do our own lousy, lying leaders say they'll do if they do discover that America actually has been abusing/torturing fellow human beings - on British soil?

Yeah. Right. We know.

Sweet Fanny Adams fuck all. That's what. Sodding squat!

(Coss posted at 'appletree')

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19 July 2008

Religious Intolerance Returns to Europe

Poland, 1939: Jewish men are forced to shave one another while their neighbors look on with delight

France recently denied citizenship to a woman on grounds that she was
too orthodox in her Muslim faith:

"I would never have imagined that they would turn me down because of what I choose to wear," Silmi said, her hazel eyes looking out of the narrow slit in her niqab, an Islamic facial veil that is among three flowing layers of turquoise, blue and black that cover her body from head to toe. But last month, France's highest administrative court upheld a decision to deny Faiza Silmi, 32, citizenship on the ground that her "radical" practice of Islam was incompatible with French values like equality of the sexes.

The ruling has received almost unequivocal support across the political spectrum, including among many Muslims. Fadela Amara, the French minister for urban affairs, called Silmi's niqab "a prison" and a "straitjacket."

"It is not a religious insignia but the insignia of a totalitarian political project that promotes inequality between the sexes and is totally lacking in democracy," said Amara, herself a practicing Muslim of Algerian descent.
There's no nice way to say this: Fadela Amara is an idiot. You can't liberate women by restricting their choices. And if the French government were really interested in protecting women from patriarchy, why do they single out conservative Muslims? Why don't they also bar conservative Catholics from obtaining citizenship? The church automatically excommunicates any woman who attempts to join the priesthood, which is the only path toward a position in which a person would lead men.

Obviously, Silmi's case is not symptomatic of a growing respect for women, but of a growing
religious intolerance in Europe:

Supporters of a Swiss referendum collected enough signatures two weeks ago to call for a constitutional ban on minarets, the towers used to call worshipers to prayer. No date has been set for the vote.

Italy's Interior Minister Roberto Maroni announced this month that he wants to close a Milan mosque because crowds attending Friday prayers spill onto the street and irritate neighbors. In April, the city of Bologna scrapped plans for a new mosque, saying Muslim leaders failed to meet certain requirements, including making public its source of funding.

In Austria, the southern province of Carinthia passed a law in February that effectively bans the construction of mosques by requiring them to fit within the overall look and harmony of villages and towns.

Far-right leaders from 15 European cities met in Antwerp, Belgium, in January and called for a ban on new mosques and a halt to "the Islamization" of European cities. The group said mosques act as catalysts for taking over neighborhoods and imposing Islamic ways of life on Europeans.
I have to wonder why "moderate" Muslims are so willing to go along with attacks on the Muslim faith. Do they imagine that the bigots will stop, once they've driven out or otherwise eliminated the Muslim fundamentalists? Religious intolerance doesn't work like that. The last time a wave of religious intolerance washed over Europe, it wasn't just he Orthodox Jews who were victimized.


Of course, religious intolerance isn't limited to Europe. In an astounding ruling, a Pakistani court refused to return kidnapped Christian girls to their parents, saying that the children had
converted to Islam:

District judge Mian Muhammad Naeem, of the section of Muzaffargarh, has ruled that the two Christian sisters "have converted in a legitimate manner to Islam", and for this reason they cannot be "restored to their family of origin". Setting aside the request from their father to regain custody of his daughters, the judge also admitted the "validity" of the marriage of the girls to two Muslims.

Saba Younas, aged 13, and her sister Anila, aged 10, were kidnapped last June 26 in the village of Chowk Munda, where they had gone to visit their uncle. The girls' uncle says that the Muslims involved in the kidnapping are acting as a "gang", recruiting the girls in order to "make them work in a bordello".
I'm pretty sure that if Christians had kidnapped Muslim girls, the judge would have reached a different verdict.


Pope Benedict XVI, who has done what he can to
stoke the fires of hatred against Muslims, announced that he's deeply sorry about the church's child molestation scandal. But he still hasn't gotten around to apologizing for taking an active role in protecting the child molesters and covering up their crimes.

(cross posted at appletree)

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Perverted Predator Priests and Abused Little Kids: Pope Benedict Apologises ...


Pope says he's sorry for priest's sex abuse.

So, we see some ex Hitler Youth Movement pope said, in Oz, that he's sorry.

Well that's alright then, eh? Good on him, eh? That's so bloody big of him, eh?.

We're sooooo pleased to see that said pontiff (aka God's representative on earth - aka Ratzi the Nazi), has sorted things out on that score.

Organised religions? Holy men? Suffer the little children?

For Christ's sake, just
don't sodding start us.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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18 July 2008

Gore: 10 Years to Oil Independence

While Gore was working on his renewable energy plan, the Bush administration was covering up evidence that global warming is caused by human activity.

Former vice president Al Gore challenged the nation to convert to 100% renewable energy by the end of 2018, an effort that he said would require a commitment of between 1.5 and 3 trillion dollars. Gore pointed out that the sacrifice would pay huge dividends in the future:

"This is an investment that will pay itself back many times over," Gore said. "It's an expensive investment but not compared to the rising cost of continuing to invest in fossil fuels."

"I hope to contribute to a new political environment in this country that will allow the next president to do what I think the next president is going to think is the right thing to do," Gore said. "But the people have to play a part."
It's hard to argue with the notion that the effort would be well worth the cost. In terms of the environment, the US is in a unique position in terms of its ability to impact the problem. The US emits far more carbon than any other developed nation, and California alone consumes more gasoline than any nation on earth, save the US as a whole. Meanwhile, the windy Great Plains and sunny deserts of the Southwest could make it the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy. And the technology developed during the 10 year effort to wean the US off of oil could then be used to help other nations reduce carbon emissions.

An effort to become oil-free would be a tremendous boon to the American economy. Think of the billions that would have been saved in the past 10 years if the US used only renewable energy. There would have been no war in Iraq, and quite possibly, no 9/11 attacks. We would have had a much smaller trade deficit, which would would have produced a much stronger dollar. Lower world fuel prices may have averted or at least ameliorated the current worldwide economic slump, and might have made recent airline bailouts unnecessary. Perhaps most importantly for the American economy, Gore's plan would quickly make America the world leader in alternative fuel and conservation technologies, which might usher in a tech-driven boom similar to the information technology boom of the 1990s. The American auto industry may not survive the current wave of high energy costs, but if Ford and General Motors can become the world leaders in emissions-free vehicles, they could once again become the world's most profitable companies.

There would be benefits in the realm of international politics as well. There would no longer be a reason for the US to kowtow to the most brutal and corrupt regimes in the Middle East. Recall that our associations with those regimes are regularly cited by terrorists from the region as a primary reason for their attacks on Americans. Mitigating the effects of global warming would help ease the tensions brought about by famines and droughts. And lowering demand for oil would go a long way toward neutering petrodollar-fueled militant groups like al Qaeda and Hezbollah.

So Gore's plan represents a big investment, but it's an investment with a huge upside. Compare the potential economic and security gains to those garnered from the Apollo and Star Wars projects, or the virtually non-existent gains from our development of stealth technology. The question isn't whether or not we can afford to invest in renewable energy, but whether we can afford not to invest.


It's so frustrating to recall that Gore actually won the most votes in 2000, and would have won Florida as well were it not for the
disenfranchisement of eligible voters. Compare Gore's bold vision with Bush's record of incompetence and venality. Compare Gore's science-based global warming strategy to Bush's deliberate inaction:

Climate change will pose "substantial" threats to human health in the coming decades, the Environmental Protection Agency said yesterday -- issuing its warnings about heat waves, hurricanes and pathogens just days after the agency declined to regulate the pollutants blamed for warming.

The strong warnings highlighted the contorted position that the EPA has staked out on climate change. Last week, the agency decided not to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, at least not until after President Bush's term ends.

A former EPA official told a House panel this week that senior administration officials and several Cabinet members supported regulating the emissions before the White House changed course and barred the EPA from concluding that they endanger public welfare.

In a closed interview Tuesday, former EPA deputy associate administrator Jason K. Burnett told the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming that Joel D. Kaplan, Bush's deputy chief of staff for policy, originally signed off on the decision to regulate emissions from both vehicles and stationary sources such as power plants and refineries. The decision came in response to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that instructed the administration to determine whether carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases should be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

"There was a general belief that moving forward with a challenge and establishing a precedent in channeling regulation would serve the country better than leaving the challenge to the next administration," Burnett said in the interview, according to a transcript obtained by The Washington Post. "The chief of staff's office then appears to have changed its mind."
Instead of looking forward to an oil-free economy, Bush pursued the interests of the largest oil companies to the exclusion of any other consideration, including national defense. When Bush took office, he put Dick Cheney in charge of both energy policy and anti-terrorism policy. Cheney's energy task force met several times during the early months of the Bush administration, but Cheney's terrorism task force did not meet a single time before the 9/11 attacks.

But while Bush's policies have been exasperating, the circumstances surrounding his "election" are infuriating. Because if Bush had won in 2000, we could simply say that a democratic nation gets the leadership it deserves. But in this case, America and the world deserved a lot better.

(cross posted at appletree)

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17 July 2008

The Shocking, Sickening, Sad and Sorry State of So Many American Citizens ...

Just a few short days ago we said elsewhere (on an American forum), that most Americans were either completely unaware, or in a state of total denial, of the fact that they're around 30/40 years behind as far as the 'civilisation stakes' is concerned.

Today we read this.

US slips down development index

Americans live shorter lives than citizens of almost every other developed nation, according to a report from several US charities.

The report found that the US ranked 42nd in the world for life expectancy despite spending more on health care per person than any other country.
Read the rest of this (alarmingly), revealing report.

And still, there are soooo many self deluded dudes (and dames), determined to dispute this sort of (self evident), stuff.

So, we strongly suggest that all such stupid sobs should simply sod off from this place, and take any/all their arguments to their very own
'American Human Development Project'.


(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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Sell your Seagram's stock

Ron Wood

Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones has checked into rehab and will be
giving up alcohol. Shares of Seagram's, Miller Brewing, and Guinness all dropped by more than 10% in response to the news.
So what's made Wood get on the wagon? Rumor has it that his wife is leaving him after Wood was caught shacking up in Ireland with
19-year-old Russian waitress:

Ekaterina Ivanova

I guess if you're a Rolling Stone, that's just another day at the office.

(cross posted at appletree)

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15 July 2008

Today We Talk About Turkey, Terrorism and the Turkish Hizbullah/Hizbollah ...

Whenever we bloggers blog, we invariably hope to hell that somebody, somewhere spends at least some of their time reading what we've written. And whenever we're 'linked' by any brother/sister bloggers we're bound to believe it's 'nice' - and to brag a bit too - to say the least.

It's nicer still when any of those links are from 'foreigners' from far off places.

As for as ourselves, for reasons that should be obvious to all our regular readers, it's particularly pleasing to find ourselves/our work being talked about by Turks ... in Turkey.

And it's nicer still when a subject we had fully intended to talk about in some detail - soon - turns out to have already been done for us ... entirely unplanned and entirely independently.

So, here for personal perusal is a snip from today's "Turkish Blog Count."

Attack on the US Consulate in Istanbul

As noted above, on July 9th an attack against the US Consulate building in Istanbul was carried out.

Three policeman were killed as well as three attackers, the real blog buzz, however, is focused on not only why the attack was carried out, but who was responsible, and how it was handled by the authorities.
Read the rest of that report, right here. And, note that the next clip & paste is the previously referred to reference/link (within that article) to 'This Old Brit'.

In fact, a non-Turkish blog stated that they were convinced the attacks were carried out by Kurdish terrorist groups as well:
Now, nobody should have seriously supposed we were set to leave this very, very interesting topic alone ... before we'd sown some seeds. Well, should they?

So here's what we want to say.

We smell the stink of something fishy. In fact we strongly suspect that somebody, somewhere is setting somebody, somewhere up for

And, setting them up for something special. Such as... something as (seriously), special as carrying somebody else's can.

What's more, we'd sincerely suggest we're all set to see & hear said 'something special', pretty soon.

As always though, time alone will tell.

Turkish Hizbullah/Hizbollah.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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89% of Children's Foods Provide Poor Nutrition


From Science Daily:

Most kids' foods provide poor nutritional quality, but packaging claims and healthy images could be misleading parents, according to a Canadian study. Professor Charlene Elliott used US guidelines to review 367 products. 70 percent of the products had higher than recommended sugar levels, 23 percent had high fat levels and 17 percent had high salt levels.

Nine out of ten regular food items aimed specifically at children have a poor nutritional content -- because of high levels of sugar, fat or sodium - according to a detailed study of 367 products published in the July issue of the UK-based journal Obesity Reviews.

Just under 70 per cent of the products studied - which specifically excluded confectionery, soft drinks and bakery items - derived a high proportion of calories from sugar. Approximately one in five (23 per cent) had high fat levels and 17 per cent had high sodium levels. Despite this, 62 per cent of the foods with poor nutritional quality (PNQ) made positive claims about their nutritional value on the front of the packet.

So if you count the sodas, candies, and twinkies that are marketed to children, the fraction of kids' foods that provide poor nutrition probably rises to well above 95%. Is it any wonder that our kids are becoming obese, which causes them to have health problems in the future?

This isn't really new information. We've known that our kids are getting fatter, and that the additives in their food are exasperating problems like
Attention Deficit Disorder. And our response has been to subsidize junk food and to give professional marketers greater access to our kids. We pay agribusiness giants like ADM and Con-Agra billions to the corn that sweetens soda, that fattens pigs and cattle, and that makes up the lion's share of "chicken" mcnuggets. We put TVs in our kids' bedrooms and even classrooms, and we let fast food companies advertise in school buses and on school book covers. And we let soda companies and fast food restaurants sell their wares inside our schools. And taxpayers underwrite all of this, as we allow the people who are poisoning our kids to deduct the cost of advertising from their taxes.

Maybe it's time to start protecting our kids with a little common-sense regulation.

(cross posted at appletree)

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14 July 2008

It's Raining Money in Baghdad!


From the Associated Press:

It is a politician's dream: Handing out cold, hard cash to people on the street as they plead for help. Iraq's prime minister has been doing just that in recent weeks, doling out Iraqi dinars as an aide trails behind, keeping a tally.

The handouts by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and a handful of other top officials are authorized — as long as each goes no higher than about $8,000, and the same people don't get them twice. Aides say they are meant merely to ease the pain a bit, and are motivated by a belief that better conditions will lead to more security.

The cash handouts are just one small — if eye-catching — part of a major investment push this summer by Iraq's government. The aim is to rebuild basic services and jumpstart Iraq's damaged economy by quickly distributing as much of the country's glut of oil revenue as possible.
It's not hard to see what's going on here. Iraq has an important round of provincial elections scheduled for October 1, and the current governing coalition will almost certainly lose badly to the Sadrists in key provinces like Basra and Baghdad. Recent government assaults on the Sadrists in those provinces were repulsed, and Prime Minister Maliki wound up scrambling to negotiate a face-saving truce. Now he's walking the streets of Baghdad with sacks of money, handing out cash in amounts that more than double Iraq's per capita GDP.

Imagine George W. Bush authorizing military occupations of New York and California and handing out $100,000 bundles of cash to selected individuals during the run-up to the 2006 elections.

But neither Maliki's new carrot nor his old stick seem to be pushing the Iraqis in the direction he wants them to go. So his coalition is trying a different approach:
refuse to pass a new election law, thus delaying provincial elections until at least 2009. Realistically, the law has to be in place by the end of this month in order to have elections on time. Whether or not the law will pass by then likely depends on how successful Maliki is with his latest vote-buying scheme.

If this were happening in any other country, the American press would rightly denounce Iraq as nothing more than a sham democracy. But that would mean having the courage to point out to Emperor Bush the fact that he isn't wearing any clothes, and that's a lot more courage than we can expect from our craven media.

(hat tip to Czaiye Camacho, cross posted at appletree)

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Holy Heavy-Hangers, Honey!

Sorry, sisters. We couldn't resist it.

M&S defends 'tax on bigger bras'

By Dominic Laurie -- Business reporter, BBC News

Protesters say the M&S policy is more than just a storm in a DD cup

Marks & Spencer has defended a policy of charging extra on some of its bras that are bigger than a size DD.

The High Street retailer said that the added cost - typically £2 - was "standard industry practice".

M&S added it found most customers "were happy to pay a small premium for the specialist work" needed to make larger sizes of their bras.

But the policy has drawn protests with 900 people joining a Busts 4 Justice protest group on the Facebook website.

Read the rest right here.

Well, what do think?

Have M & S boobed or what?

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12 July 2008

America Murders Still More Innocent Little Kids - at Another Afghan Wedding

11 July 2008

Re: US Naval Blockade on Iran: A Naval Blockade is an "Act Of War"

This - from undisclosed, long time online 'friend(s) and usually reliable source(s).

We're posting it without comment, without express permission and without citing the source(s).

If we're asked to remove it by those concerned, then we will remove it immediately. But we hope that doesn't happen. Moreover, we hope our source(s) will keep us abreast of developments ... either here in our comments section or by email. Thanks - you know who you are.

This thing is bigger than you think. A huge part of Congress
(Rs & Ds) have voted to follow AIPAC's advice and, in effect, join Israel in
attacking Iran. A quote from an article by Eric Margolis [columnist for Toronto
Sun] New War Brewing: US, Israel Take Dangerous Steps: [posted by
CommonDreams on Sunday]

"The highly regarded American journalist Seymour Hersh just confirmed that the U.S. Congress authorized a $400-million plan to overthrow Iran’s government and incite ethnic unrest." More: "In Washington, Congress, under intense pressure from the Israel lobby, is about to
adopt a resolution calling for a naval blockade of Iran, an overt act of war."
[the vote is to take place today, I think].

"Israel asserts the right to maintain its Mideast nuclear monopoly by destroying all fissile-producing reactors in the region. Iran vows to retaliate against Israel ...., shut the Strait of Hormuz and mine the Gulf, producing worldwide financial panic, severe fuel shortages, and $400-$500 per barrel oil. Iran likely will attack U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait, and strike Saudi and Kuwaiti oil facilities." Read the comments related to this article along with some
important links contributed by some of the commenters.
(Article and Comments) The best link for information is here: (best explanation w/ links) From that site, you can get a video explanation and also a link to the list of congress members that are co-signers. It's an enormous number of members. I have never seen such a long list co-signing

This thing has AIPAC's influence (campaign bribes) written all over it. I'm convinced this is NOT being pushed by BIG OIL corporations. They don't want big interruptions in oil supplies and doubling again of oil prices and outright war with consumers at American gas pumps. That cannot be in their interest. Yep, this is all about Israel.

Incidentally, the page on the Iran Resolution promises to continue ongoing updates on the latest developments.

It's interesting that there was no forewarning about this vote, no chance to organize opposition or to send messages to congress members or anything. There might be time to get a phone call in through the Congressional offices switchboard this morning, but that's all.

And yes, a Naval Blockade is an Act of War.

The above was penned yesterday, btw.




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Photo from the 2004 G8 summit

Leaving his last G8 summit, Dubya said "goodbye from the world's biggest polluter." Given the fact that much of the summit was devoted to coming up with a strategy for cleaning up after the world's biggest polluter, it's not surprising that even France's conservative president expressed shock.

Bush's remark wasn't the only source of controversy at the summit. A press packet issued by the White House described Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi as one of the "most controversial leaders in the history of a country known for government corruption and vice".

This is precisely why a lot of people don't like Americans: because some of us act like assholes when we travel abroad. And now Bush, representing all Americans, has gone abroad and done his best to perpetrate every negative stereotype commonly attributed to Americans.

Worst. President. Imaginable.

(cross posted at appletree)

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Iran, Israel, Insanity and the Demonic, Demented Dick Cheney ...

Worried about Iran?



End games?


Dick Cheney?

Shadow governments?

Lunatics taking over asylums?

Enemies within?

Death wishes for dummies?

End of civilisation as we know it?

Etc, etc?

Frustrated with Bush, the Veep Urges Israel to Attack Iran

Cheney, Israel and Iran

By Gary Leupp
Now read the rest right here.

And note the source and date.

Good night.

And good luck.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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09 July 2008

Today in Istanbul, Turkey: Terror Attack on American Consulate



Anyone following our humble blog, even on only a semi-regular basis, can't fail to have realised we have an ongoing, passionate love affair with one particular place called Turkey. Or, as almost all British holiday companies and travel agents have long preferred to refer to it as -- "Paradise".

Paradise of course for those who've never experienced, nor witnessed, the dirty work of the Kurdish communist, poxy, terrorist, turds referred to as the PKK.

Okay, preamble over. Here's the horrible headline we're highlighting today.

Attack at US Istanbul consulate

Turkey has seen armed attacks from a variety of groups over the years

Three policemen and three gunmen have been killed in an armed attack near the US consulate in the
Turkish city of Istanbul, its governor has said.

The identity of the attackers is still unclear, but they began shooting at 1100 (0800GMT). The police are looking for a fourth man seen with them.

Another policeman and the driver of a police tow-truck were injured in the ensuing gun battle, the governor added.
Read the rest of this report right here.

It's only fair to say, by the way, that at the time of typing this, no one is certain that this cowardly cretinous attack is definitely the work of
the PKK.

But we'll bet good money that that turns out to be the case. And before anyone begins accusing us of being against the Kurdish people - please pay appropriate attention: what we are (strongly), against is not any entire nation - but any & every terrorist group;whoever, wherever, whatever. Clear enough? Comprendo?

Incidentally, we know for a fact, first hand, that there's always a lot of crap (continuously), talked about Turkey by folk who've never actually accumulated any knowledge (at all) re; this spectacularly sucessful secular Muslim country - other than via (usually), blatantly biased, second-hand hearsay.

For example:
How many reading here were remotely aware of
the other face of Istanbul?

Suitably surprised?

We certainly hope so.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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07 July 2008

Saddam Hussein's Long Lost Letter to America ...

Remember Saddam Hussein?

Two years ago today (7th July 2006) Saddam Hussein sent a hand written letter to 'The American People'.

We doubt many of them even received it, let alone ever read it.

So here's their second chance -
since we have said letter right here - in it's absolutely uncensored entirety.

Isn't it somewhat surprising though that so many Americans, along with plenty of others,
were so easily able/allowed to see something as shocking as this?

Anyway, can we sincerely suggest everyone starts asking themselves some (very relevant) questions?

The above photograph of Saddam, by the way, was taken just five short months after he wrote his letter.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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